Trend Watch: Social Lead Generation
As a B2B marketer, you often live or die by the number of leads you generate for your sales teams. For many of those marketers, email is still the number one source for lead gen, but more and more B2B marketers are turning to social media to expand their reach and help drive more opportunities for sales. Consider this – a recent study said that companies who use Twitter generate twice as many leads per month. And according to Hubspot’s State of Inbound Marketing 2013 report, other social channels are even more effective for acquiring customers:
Bottom line: If you are not using any of these sources for social lead generation right now, you are missing a very big opportunity to engage your customers, whether you are a big company or an SMB.
Following are a few for social lead generation that will help marketing and sales teams make the most of their social efforts:
Social Lead Generation Tip #1: Build a Foundation
A recent Business.com study states that 55% of B2B buyers search for information on social media. If your brand is not active socially, forget starting to generate social leads or complimenting existing online lead gen. Social media is important for your brand to establish trust and credibility, which is the foundation of the buyer/seller relationship. Check out this case study on how Dell is turning its brand detractors into fans via social media, through a dynamic foundation they have building since 2006.
Social Lead Generation Tip #2: Listen and Find
Just like buyers search for information on social media, marketers should be using social media search to find buyers. This post from Convince & Convert details a great example of leveraging the power of Twitter Search to pinpoint groups of buyers looking for your solutions. LinkedIn group searches are very effective as well for searching for context and relevancy for buyer issues. Finding buyers is easier than you think and unlike other traditional environments, they want to tell you what they need – all you have to do is listen.
Social Lead Generation Tip #3: Engage and Provide
Within social lead generation, engaging prospects all about creating a favorable selling environment. You know what buyers are looking for, you just need to find out how you can best match their needs but on their terms. Everyone by this point has heard the stats about how the B2B purchase process is buyer-controlled, but this is never more apparent than in social settings. As a vendor, you must be sensitive to how you are perceived and be very careful not to over-pitch. Buyers are seeking your guidance, but the truth is, they don’t necessarily need it. It is your job to make it easier for them to make a decision – be as informative as you can by providing valuable and useful informative information right up front in social environments – don’t make them dig too deep. Become an information concierge and you earn the right to engage and ask them the questions that your brand becomes the answer to.
Social Lead Generation Tip #4: Convert
Converting leads sourced from social media is not rocket-science and therefore, I am going to keep this part simple. This great post outlining 6 ways to convert social media leads should sound very familiar to all of you. It outlines things like differentiating your brand, timely response, sharing knowledge, answering prospect questions through follow-up, etc. All basic stuff, but things that some companies ignore or forget completely when it comes to handling social leads.
I hope these tips will help your marketing and sales teams get started with social lead generation. If you have any successful tips to share, feel free to leave a comment or you can connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.
This is an installment of the Friday “Trend Watch” column that will appear in this blog on a regular basis, featuring marketing trends highlighted by several outside resources from industry experts, bloggers, and outlets from around the web to help marketers stay better informed.
customer acquisition, Customer Engagement, demand generation, demand generation tactics, lead generation, lead generation strategies, social lead generation, social listening, social med, social media marketing, Trend Watch